Vradin, Chapter Thirty-Seven

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I must have slept the night through because there was light spilling in from the windows when I awoke, gaining in intensity as I watched the walls and went over the events of my prior waking.

I had a lot of questions to address, but a few things had been made pretty clear. First, this really was not the world I grew up in, and all the social rules I knew were up in the air. Second, for reasons as yet unknown, the head honcho here wanted me to stay. Maybe I was just a freakazoid or some new diversion, but he was extending me courtesies that were not common, at least for him, judging by the reactions of the people in the hall and the watchfulness of the guards. I was pretty sure that when I made my attempt to leave, it would either be with their escort or require a great deal of luck and stealth.

As I lay there, replaying the scene in the, I don’t know what to call it, maybe great hall? Replaying that scene, with the prisoner, it dawned on me that when he had told me, “We found you in Dimeter” that meant he had been a part of my abduction. And if his Beast Men were as real as Bhrett, then maybe his fangs were equally as real.

I shoved that thought aside, because freaking out about just what he was, and why I had puncture wounds in my neck and side would not help me get home. That was my goal; that was what I needed to focus on.

Pretty much, the first thing I needed to do was look outside. I tossed back the fur I had dragged over myself in sleep, and very quickly pulled it back around me. It was cold!

Wrapping the fur around me like a blanket, I shuffled over to the window, the chilly floor painful enough that I had to shift from one foot to the other, almost like I was dancing and about as rhythmic as my dancing usually looked like, I’d bet.

I had a hand extended to push on the shutters blocking my outside view when a knock announced the door opening. I turned to see Lyrgrul frowning at me.

“You …. brrrrr?” she asked.

“C-old, y-yes,” I answered, shivering from the contact with the floor despite the warmth of the fur.

“You sit, I …” she made a circling motion with her hand.

“I sit and you’ll be back?” I asked.

“Back is … ?” she said and reached a hand up and over her shoulder to tap her spine.

I moved back to the pallet of furs, quick to bury my feet in the lush, warm softness. “Yes, and also to return.”

“I return,” she announced, and took off.

I was just starting to feel warm again when she came back, the older man trailing her, and with straps of fur laying over her arms.

Pointing to the man, she said, “Body good. Body no hurt.” Lifting the arm with the fur straps, she pointed to her own foot. “Body no cold.”

The older man came over to me and crouched down in front of me, again tipping my head away for a better look at my neck. He then motioned for me to open the fur I was wrapped up in.

I was slow to do so, earning a concerned frown from the man.

Lyrgrul said again, “Body no hurt. You no hurt.”

I shook my head, looking to her while he probed the bruise on my side. “It’s cold in here, and I just got warm again.”

She said something to the man which made his frown deepen, but took away some of the angry feeling from him. This time when he moved to put his hand on my belly, he made sure to make eye contact, showing me his hand first and then moved it with deliberation to my belly button.

Heat, blessed, beautiful heat filled me from my belly out and up and down. The shivers that had started up with the loss of the fur eased and faded, and, to be honest, I felt a bit like I did five minutes after finishing a bout of sex with Tank without the sweaty, tingling post orgasm spasms: light headed, content, almost boneless with a release of tension.

My time sense dive bombed. I don’t know if I enjoyed that moment of bliss for one minute or one hour. What happened next, though, well, it started almost as soon as the older man took his hand away.

My muscles started spasming, at first small tics, but that built up into what I guess a full body seizure must feel like. I don’t know what anyone else did, but I don’t think they tried to touch me. I don’t remember a touch. While in the midst of the seizure, the warmth that had permeated my body turned to fire. It felt like I was being roasted from the inside out.

The funny thing? I don’t remember feeling scared. There was too much happening to be scared in the moment. That came later.

I do remember thinking that I would rather be cold again than burn up like this. I don’t know when I closed my eyes, just that they were closed when the whole being on fire feeling snapped off as if it had been doused by a surge of water, about at the temperature a body should be, neither too cold nor too warm. The seizure began to lessen in intensity, and I kept my eyes closed until I was down to a slight case of the shivers again.

The difference in my vision made me sick. I rolled from my back to my belly, flopping off the pallet and catching myself on my hands, retching. Even while I retched, I couldn’t seem to focus right, the details in the cracks of the stone floor as clear as if I were examining it with a microscope while my hands seemed blurry. I closed my eyes again, and that helped.

I heard fear and uncertainty in the voices around me, mostly male. There was a clarity to my hearing that seemed very strange, and there were sounds I wasn’t used to hearing, both an extra depth to the male voices and a faint, higher pitched sound that echoed from them which was kind of nice.

When I was sure my stomach was settled, I asked, “Lyrgrul?”

Only, what came out was more of a quivering mewing sound.

That was when I started to panic.

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